Based on the campus of the HudsonAlpha Institute, Acclinate Genetics, a Huntsville, Alabama firm is working to make sure genetic research incorporates representation from minority groups.
Acclinate Genetics has joined the movement to diversify genetic and clinical research. Presently research participants are overwhelmingly white and middle class and above. To hammer the point home TrialSite News shares dome demographic data concerning ethnic population in America:
- Hispanic/Latinos approaching 55 million or 17%
- African Americans about 45 million or 14%
- Asian Americans about 18 million or 6%
- Other (e.g. Native American, etc. 3%)
For example, the total minority population is now 40% yet they represent 2% to 16% of clinical trial participants report Alabama.com.
Conditions such as hypertension, kidney disease, and others are more common in the African American community for example. Moreover, side effects from various medications can vary depending on a number of factors including genetic makeup.
Acclinate first and foremost acknowledges some of the egregious instances of clinical research in our collective history such as the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study. This is important as we can’t move forward unless we address historical data points that scar the collective memory. The firm also seeks to overcome trust barriers by establishing the Enhanced Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials or eDICT Program. This program, Acclinate touts, will involve participant management systems to identify barriers to diverse subgroup participation in U.S.-based clinical trials with attempts to achieve greater participation and retention.
Clinical research will only benefit from greater minority participation. Moreover, the healthcare project cannot meet its full potential without becoming fully relevant to a more representative portion of the population. We support this effort and will track their results.